A private gathering was held Sunday to celebrate the life of Dan Sealey, the stepson of B.C. Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham, who died of an accidental overdose earlier this month. (Facebook/Dan Sealey)

Friends, family remember Dan Sealey, stepson of Minister of Agriculture, in private gathering

Lana Popham confirmed Sealey died of an accidental drug overdose earlier this month at age 23

Friends and family of Dan Sealey gathered Sunday afternoon in a Townley Street home to remember him during a private celebration of life.

The stepson of Saanich South MLA and Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham, died earlier this month of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 23.

Standing at the door of the house, Popham told the Saanich News Sunday’s gathering was closed to media. According to social media, the event was held in lieu of a formal service, at the request of Sealey, whose father Rob is Popham’s fiancé.

RELATED: BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

A post on Sealey’s personal Facebook page announced his death Nov. 12.

“Those who were lucky enough to know him know the funny, caring, smart, talented and special person he was but may not know about the struggles he faced over the past few years,” read the posting. “He was taken from us far too soon by accidental overdose this past weekend.”

Popham posted a message announcing Sealey’s untimely death on her own Facebook page Nov. 17, in which she echoed the family’s posting, noting that Sealey was pursuing a career as a physics teacher.

Lana Popham, B.C. Minister of Agriculture and Saanich South MLA, said her stepson struggled over the last few years with mental health issues and addiction. (Facebook/Lana Popham)

According to his Facebook page, Sealey had started school at Central Washington University in January 2016, studying physics and mathematics after leaving Seton Hall University in February 2015.

Since June, Sealey had also been working as a line cook at Yates Street Taphouse Bar and Grill; previously he was employed at Barb’s Fish and Chips in Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

A Facebook fundraising site started by Paige Sealey — believed to be one of Dan’s two sisters — describes him as “a brilliant, hilarious, happy kid who struggled with both mental illness and addiction later in life.”

“We lost him too soon at age 23 to an accidental overdose,” she wrote. “We hope to continue his legacy by helping others who struggle with similar issues.”

As of Sunday afternoon, the site had raised $7,782 (US), more than $5,000 above its goal of $2,000.

According to a study from Public Health Agency of Canada, almost 10 people died each day of an illicit drug overdose in Canada from January 2016 to March 2018.

RELATED: B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

In British Columbia, 128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018.

The province is on track to record the same or more overdose deaths as last year, which was the worst in Canadian history. In 2017, an average of 120 people died each month and in the first three-quarters of 2018, an average of 127 people died each month.

Vancouver continues to be the city hit hardest, with 297 deaths, followed by 162 deaths in Surrey and 74 in Victoria.

According to a new report from Statistics Canada, 12 per cent of the 2,362 confirmed illicit drug overdose deaths between 2011 and 2016 involve individuals aged 18 to 24.

The Saanich News reached out to Paige Sealey for comment as well as several of Dan Sealey’s friends but did not receive a reply.

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATED: Saanich structure fire sparked in child daycare

Motorists advised to avoid the area of the highway, Glanford Avenue, Royal Oak Drive and Quadra Street off ramp

Public member position open on Saanich Police Board

Job posting deadline Jan. 15, 2020

Saanich Peninsula firefighters look to douse hunger with annual food drive

The Peninsula Firefighters Christmas Food Drive happens Saturday

Victoria Foundation’s community grants support 109 local non-profits

Foundation delivers $2.8 million in grant money to local organizations

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Sooke’s École Poirier students win B.C. Hydro Power Smart contest

More than 100 schools compete in province-wide competition

Most Read